It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However I don’t mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind. – Oscar Wilde
Job hunting and dating have a lot in common. Both activities involve two sides blatantly misrepresenting themselves, fluffing up their good points, glossing over their bad, faking overwhelming excitement at the possibility of hooking up together and making hollow declarations of hypothetical commitment to a lasting relationship whilst simultaneously trying not to look too desperate or needy. You’re the only company I want to work for, baby. Love me. Please.
And just as the majority of dating is done badly by a bunch of stupid people who lie to other stupid people to get them into bed and then complain loudly when the relationship mysteriously fails to last, so is employment too often a futile exercise in which employer and employee both attempt to take advantage of each other, only to split acrimoniously a short time later.
While I seem to have escaped the dating trap, I admit to having been just another stupid jerk when it comes to the job market. I have written job applications addressing selection criteria which made no sense for jobs that I didn’t really want, but which paid more money.
Then some shit went down at my work that was too awful for me to ignore, so I agonised and agonised and then finally quit; not because I had anywhere better to be, but because I couldn’t continue working where I was.
Now, almost a year since I quit my public service job (because it made me unhappy, wah), I am on the cusp of being employed again. Momentous news, Prue, you may yawn, but dear reader, underneath your cynicism you are actually correct. I will have you know that my standards are much higher now than they ever have been. I’ve seen things, done stuff, that you would never believe. I’ve spent a whole fucking year as a kept woman. I declared, with passion and absolute sincerity, that I would never work for any organisation ever again.
And since then I have discovered captioning.
Let me explain how captioning may actually be made of win.
It’s physical. Re-speaking tv into a computer to produce captions involves using your voice with great precision and control. That’s kind of cool.
It’s thinky. You’ve got to do reading and research in preparation so you can re-speak the news accurately.
It’s shift work. Shift loading = money. Odd hours are conducive to my lifestyle: I like op-shopping and I resent employment that keeps me from spending random weekdays scouring racks of unwanted junk. And working weekends opens up the possibility that my private fantasy of parenthood, in which both Husband and I working three days a week, with one day a week being magical two-parent quality time, might actually come true.
It’s pretty. Yeah, the office is pretty. I’m shallow. Deal with it.
It’s a perfect commute. Well, as close to a perfect commute as one can get in Sydney. Most of the route is dedicated cycle path. It’s 45 minutes at a leisurely pace on my girl/shopping 3-speed bike with front and back baskets. It’s quicker to cycle than any form of public transport, and there is undercover bike storage and showers at the office.
They like me. Because, amongst other things, I was able to caption the name “Paolo Pucci” correctly. It are nice to be liked, kids. I have missed it.
And finally: If I get this job, I am going to get a new bike (a Brompton, in pastel colours) to commute with and I will call it Pucci.
And that, my dears, is how captioning is made of win.